The first two practice sessions for the Korean Korean Grand Prix went well for the Sauber F1 Team. It was a usual Friday evaluating new aero parts and completing set-up work in the morning and understanding the difference between the two tyre compounds, the Medium and Supersoft, in the afternoon session. Both Sauber F1 Team drivers still see room for improvement for qualifying tomorrow afternoon.
Nico Hülkenberg – Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
- 1st Practice: 11th / 1:40.899 min (20 laps) / 2nd Practice 14th / 1:40.210 min (34 laps)
“We were quite happy with the car this morning and found a good rhythm. The session this afternoon was a bit compromised because of the traffic. I couldn’t really get the first two runs together and, I think, there is still room for improvement on the option tyre. The car was performing quite well this morning, however, this afternoon it was a bit more difficult. We need to look into that now. I don’t think we showed our best today, but I’m confident for the rest of the weekend.”
Esteban Gutiérrez – Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056):
- 1st Practice: 14th / 1:41.626 min (21 laps) / 2nd Practice 13th / 1:40.186 min (33 laps)
“It was a very productive day. We’ve been trying different things on the car in order to adapt to the track. It’s quite a challenge, because you have to compromise somewhere as the first sector has a high-speed character, while in the second and third sectors you need quite a lot of downforce. The track itself is really nice, even better than I expected it to be. It’s fun to drive and has everything – fast, slow and medium speed corners. The first practice this morning gave me enough time to learn the track, and during the second session I was able to focus on the set-up and the balance of the car. Looking forward to qualifying tomorrow there is still room for improvement on the set-up.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Again the midfield is very tight, so this means tonight we shall have to get our heads down to make sure we get the most out of the car for qualifying. We are happy with how both drivers went and Esteban did a very good job learning the track, as obviously he has never driven here before. In free practice one he was within two tenths of Nico’s time when he had to lift off because of Kimi’s shunt. As for the work we did, in free practice one we split the evaluation of the new aero parts and set up work between the two cars. Then in free practice two, with the higher track temperatures, both drivers, but especially Nico, were not as happy on the low fuel. However, by the time we got to the long runs they were much happier.”
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